Cats. Nothing but cat posts. Remember in the early days of Facebook For All? Like, 2009-2011, maybe? Suddenly we went from throwing virtual beer at each other (yes, throwing, and also sheep) to the mass manufacturing and posting of the unholy cat meme. I think the cheeseburger cat started it.
There were literally cats EVERYWHERE. This was before you could ignore somebody. If they were in your feed you were at the mercy of their self-control, or lack thereof. It was terrible. I think I may have unfriended a dear friend simply to clear my feed of cats.
And today, I am that person. I've managed to curb my Cat Facebook Activity, sort of, but this used to be an almost entirely cat free zone.
With any luck, I'll get past it.
This is Sweet Pete. His name is Sia as far as the shelter is concerned, but I'm not sure they can do anything about what I've put on his papers.
Yeah. Papers. This cat's had two visits to the Kitty ER and more bloodwork than most people submit to a lab in any one sitting. My checking account is bleeding. My hands are bleeding. There is a not so insignificant hole in my thumb and he is PISSED.
I realized this morning that he'd be one hell of a handful if he didn't feel so damned bad. The dude is sick. We don't know what, not really. Could be viral, could be the Cat Plague. Best we can do at this point is shovel anti-inflammatories down his throat and squirt his entire face with eye drops twice a day with the sincere hope that at least some of it will land in the vicinity of his right eye.
See that eye? Scary. It started out as the third eyelid just starting to creep into view and then the thing glommed onto most of the eye. By the time it started to recede, the entire eye had gone from a lovely kitty-eye green, to shit-soup amber. It's not dilating as expected either and if that sort of shit was happening to MY eye, I expect I'd get cranky as hell and go to ground.
He hasn't gone to ground. Not really. It took about a week of opening the bed in the sleeper sofa to convince him that inside the sofa was not a reliable source of shelter. He selected the kitty condo from a narrow array of options. Two days later he did something I wouldn't have expected. He left the condo and took up residence in a basket. The basket is in plain sight. He can see me, I can see him. I thought he was coming out of his shell and maybe so, but mostly I think he's miserable and lonely.
I was delighted the first time he actually hissed at me - a sure sign of life.
Other than the basket, the only other signs of life were this:
- within five minutes of turning the bedroom light out he hit the litter box. He's been holding it all day, even when I'm in the office
- he spent, and still spends, a good five minutes piling ALL of the litter into a mountain in the middle of the box. Afterward, he puts his front feet on the floor and does his damn best to toss a bit more onto the mountain. After that, he gets back in the box and shores up what he started. The end result is that after ten minutes, there's absolutely no sign that he's even touched the box - other than the mountain
- he ate like a horse, absorbs almost like osmosis every last bit of crusty (because I put it out in the morning) wet food and an entire bowl of kibble.
At some point he followed me into the bedroom. I know this because he's not as stealth as he thinks he is. The bedroom door squeaks. Best I can tell he's sleeping directly under me in the company of six weeks of dust bunnies (can't be good for that eye).
I keep a small fan in my room because I get hot at night and I find it helpful. If I approach the fan before he's evacuated, he skitters across the floor, fur fluffed to the max, claws out, and paws akimbo. He stops when he hits the couch. So far he's been 100% spot on every time. I make a point not to notice.
The night I slipped him two pieces of roast chicken was the night it all fell apart. His tummy's not used to that sort of thing and he needed the box asap. I didn't even notice when he left the basket. I noticed when he started to dig and he noticed me noticing and all hell broke loose. I left the house for thirty minutes to give him the privacy to hide the evidence and return to his corner.
These nights, if I'm up past nine pm, he slips like an eel from the basket and sort of saunters (in as much as a cat on his belly can possibly saunter) in the general direction of the box, slinks up over the edge and gets on with his business. This reminds me of that point in a relationship (which may or may not happen) when one partner finally leaves the bathroom door open and the other decides to use the sink. It's all downhill from there and Sweet Pete is in a perpetual state of irritation.
Plus he doesn't feel good. Did I mention that he doesn't feel good?
I've got one last pill to get down his throat tomorrow, another week or two or three (depends on what the vet demands) of face splashing and then something is arriving in the mail. I forget what but I know I paid a lot of money for it.
I don't honestly know if Sweet Pete is going to make it. When a cat gets this sort of lethargic
...trust me, other than skidding for his life in the morning if he hasn't exited before I get up, he doesn't do anything other than work on that massive sculpture in the litter box (which gets scooped daily, I assure you)... he's lethargic...
When a cat gets that sort of lethargic and doesn't show any signs of recovery, it's not good. It's never good. I don't remember it ever being this bad and getting better. Not with a cat, anyway.
But this is Sweet Pete and he's put up one hell of a fight.
Odds might be two to one against his favor, but I'll tip the scale if I can.